That leaves me with fantasy.
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The difficulty in fantasy, of course, is picking only ten. On account of which, I'm excluding Shakespeare and Dante for writing plays and epic poems instead of sticking to the novel format. I'm sure they know I worship the ground they used to walk on. Not that I've ever seen Florence or Stratford-upon-Avon, but still.
1. C.S. Lewis. That Hideous Strength is at least as much fantasy as science fiction. And then, there's Narnia.
2. Shannon Hale. I've enjoyed everything of hers I've ever read, but Princess Academy and The Goose Girl are the most fully realized and the most beautiful. Forest Born and Book of a Thousand Days deserve a fair second place.
3. Madeleine L'Engle. Her work usually has a fantastic element, and though the Time books get called sci-fi, there are unicorns. And a cherubim.
4. George MacDonald. For Lilith, The Golden Key, and The Day Boy and The Night Girl. Oh, and I'll admit Phantastes to be good, even if it didn't make a lot of sense to me.
5. Cornelia Funke. The Inkworld books are a little unevenly plotted, and painfully suspenseful, but the characters—ah, the characters. They are wonderful. The worldbuilding is lovely, too.
6. Robert Jordan. The realization of the world in which Rand and the other ta'veren operate—the cultures, the magic systems, the politics—is something I've rarely seen matched and never surpassed. Plus, he writes characters the reader just can't stop rooting for. At least, this reader couldn't.
7. J.K. Rowling. The Wizarding World has unicorns and a sense of humor. That combination is tough to beat all by itself, but I love Harry for a lot of other reasons. I probably talk about him enough, too.
8. J.R.R. Tolkien. It's true that I could wish for a greater number of interesting girls in Middle-Earth, and it's true that the Council of Elrond is as hard to get through as the Book of Leviticus, but I'd have to credit the good professor for the Elves and their dwellings even if every other aspect of his books bored me to tears. Which they don't. They're ripping good yarns in places.
9. Robin McKinley. For an unerringly beautiful voice, and fantastic characters.
10. Here's where things get tricky. Do I choose Elizabeth Goudge for The Little White Horse, though I've read nothing else of hers? Juliet Marillier for Wildwood Dancing under the same circumstances? Brandon Sanderson, whom I've only read when he's been writing Robert Jordan's story? Stephenie Meyer, all of whose books I've enjoyed, though the sci-fi novel is my favorite of hers? Frances Hodgson Burnett, whose books have a magical feel to them but technically aren't fantasy? I can't decide.
Who are your favorite authors in your favorite genre(s)?